At SEGL, it’s not uncommon to hear a spirited late-night conversation referenced in Ethics and Leadership class the following morning, or to continue an English class discussion over dinner. It’s not unusual for students to design our weekend activities, or for teachers to bake cookies the night before a tough academic assignment is due. When you come to SEGL, you’re not only joining our school; you’re joining an incredible family.

Living on Capitol Hill is so incredible … exercising on the Mall, sitting on the steps of the Supreme Court with milkshakes from Good Stuff Eatery, studying in the Library of Congress, and being only minutes away from meetings in the House and Senate buildings makes this experience truly unique. ~ Spring 2010 SEGL student

The Social Contract

An important feature of the school community is the idea that students and faculty enter into a “social contract” of shared trust and responsibility at the beginning of each semester. This means that significant trust and responsibility is placed on you from the outset of their time at the school, and that an atmosphere of collegiality and cooperation, rather than authoritarianism and rules, prevails. It means students and faculty collaborate on chores, dish crew, and other work projects. It also means that by agreeing to join our community, you also agree to abide by a code of ethics: “whereabouts” violations, the use of alcohol and other drugs, dishonesty (academic or otherwise), and violence against people or property will constitute grounds for dismissal. In the event a student violates the code of ethics, other students and faculty on the disciplinary committee will decide the proper sanction.

Living in a dorm

Students live in two well-furnished, homey, adjacent townhouses located in the heart of Washington, DC just steps from the Capitol, Supreme Court, and Library of Congress. Fully-furnished bedrooms are single-sex and range in size from double to quadruple.  The townhouses each have a kitchen, washer/dryers, internet access, bathrooms on every floor, and several common spaces for socializing.

One Residential Advisor (RA) lives in each residential facility with the students, and an additional faculty member lives in the separate basement apartment beneath.  More faculty members live within five blocks to provide further supervision and support. Capitol police are permanently stationed across the street from SEGL’s residential facilities, making the area extraordinarily safe.  All SEGL buildings meet DC fire and safety code regulations.


Students eat well at SEGL! Each student enjoys three healthy meals every day (brunch and dinner on Sunday) with snacks available throughout the day. Some of our food comes from local/organic sources, and we will also be sure to sample food from the areas of the world we study. Because SEGL provides meals, students do not have to buy their own food.  SEGL also makes significant effort to fully accommodate medical, religious, and/or ethical dietary restrictions. And from time to time (especially on Sunday mornings), you may even have the opportunity to add your own culinary expertise to our menu!  Click here to read a blog post by our wonderful chef.


SEGL uses Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), more commonly called “Metro,” as a primary mode of transportation. During the school week students commute with faculty and staff to and from Union Station and Dupont Circle. Door-to-door commute time is usually 30 minutes. Students leave the dorm at 8:15am to arrive in time for the 9am start to the school day.  Class days usually end at 5pm, and students arrive home around 5:30pm in time to socialize before the 7:00pm dinner.

Study Hall and Check-in

Academic studies at SEGL are rigorous, and adequate time and space are allotted to help ensure students can properly manage their course load.  Study hall begins after dinner each weeknight. At this time, quiet hours begin and rooms become silent study space.  Need to start studying for your big U.S. History exam before then and can’t seem to focus in your room?  No problem.  Why not review your notes in the historic Library of Congress, a mere 2-minute walk from the dorm?  Check-in on weeknights is at 10:00pm, at which point students return to their respective floors and start getting ready for bed.